Many companies today run their digital experiences across multiple devices and platforms, ranging from desktop and mobile apps to self-ordering kiosks. This can leave most analytics practices in a state of panic. Even with all that data, businesses can lack a holistic view of the customer experience, resulting in digital experiences not working together. Before you shout “fire!” and start to panic, you’ll need to channel your inner Smokey the Bear. Only you can build the foundation for a cross-platform measurement strategy to put out the flames.
Source: Multnomah Falls Lodge
When building a cross-platform measurement strategy, your end goal should be a cohesive design and experience across your different platforms. So how can you get there? First, let’s review some of the key benefits of building out this strategy.
Benefits of Creating a Cross-Platform Measurement Strategy
As mentioned, a cross-platform measurement strategy will:
- Give you a holistic view of your customer’s journey.
- Bring solutions to the table for some of those burning questions you may have.
- Provide answers for all of your “why’s” like why traffic is shifting, why there are more conversions on one platform compared to another, and why certain friction points are occurring within your funnels.
I’ve had instances where people are analyzing their traffic on desktop or a website, and they see traffic steadily decreasing. If you look at that one graph by itself, of course you’re going to start to panic! But if your mobile traffic is also going up, this can reveal a huge insight: your users are shifting from desktop to mobile. If you have a cross-platform measurement strategy, you’ll be able to see that traffic in a unified view, with your acquisition staying consistent or even increasing a little bit. Consider this a simple example of preventing another fire before it bursts into flames!
If you’re ready to create a cross-platform measurement strategy that prevents fires in your business, you’ll need to do some preventive care. Afterall, most big blazes can begin with the most minute spark. Let’s spring into action with some practical steps.
The Foundation to a Cross-Platform Measurement Strategy
There are many reasons why businesses don’t implement a cross-platform measurement strategy.
- They might not have the right staff in place due to a lack of proper skills.
- There may be too much data with no structure in place.
- The business may not have the right technology for the job.
However, these problems can be fixed by focusing on P.P.T. No, this isn’t PowerPoint. It’s something even better: People, Process, and Technology.
People: Your first step will be to complete an audit of the people within your business. Do you have an analyst to pour over the data? If not, that role would need to be filled. You may not have to hire an analyst specifically, but you’ll need a designated person whose sole job is to analyze the data and produce insights from that data that can improve the customer experience.
Do you have someone who is tech-savvy? By defining the skills that employees have within your organization, you can identify which skills are still needed to lead with a data-driven culture. Your goal should be to have a dream team that can connect the dots of your data between your platforms, and ultimately prevent those fires from occurring.
Process: The next element to dig into is your processes. The goal here is to make sure your data is accessible to the right people who can implement change. My advice is to start with aligning your business goals and objectives between departments. Many departments today are completely cut off from the other and have a more siloed approach to getting things done, which is something to avoid.
You’ll also need to make sure your roadmap is up to date. You can’t move forward without having a plan in place, and everyone within your business needs to be on the same page. The best way to get there is to document all your processes and keep the lines of communication open between teams. Did Smokey also mention that it takes a village? Let’s pretend he did. The bottom line: everyone must work together.
Technology: Doing an audit of your business’ current technology stack is a necessary and critical step. The goal is to have a technology stack in your organization that is consolidated and integrated so that it enables timely and accurate decisions. However, selecting the right vendor and technology for your analytics practice isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. If you need help with this process, check out this article here.
There are a few specific resources that can help with building a cross-platform measurement strategy. In Adobe Analytics, you can use a Virtual Report Suite to split out subsections of your traffic. This allows you to segment your traffic without putting them in different accounts. In Google Analytics, you can set particular views of your data and set up a processing role without destroying the data, deleting it, or completely separating it. These tools help segment your data in a nondestructive way. A few other tool recommendations include Firebase, which is Google’s mobile SDK, and mParticle.
By following the above steps, creating a cross-platform measurement strategy can be within your reach. When you implement P.P.T. (again, not PowerPoint, but People, Process, Technology), you’ll uncover new insights into behavioral patterns of users, gain a holistic view of your customers, segment users properly, implement successful target marketing, and ultimately increase conversions, revenue, and the trust of your brand. I know that sounds like a lot of benefits, but the list could go on!
Benefiting from a cross-platform measurement strategy is attainable for your business, but keep in mind, the road to getting there will take time. Smokey didn’t put out the fires himself all in one day. It took supplying people with the right information and resources to get the job done before disaster struck. The same applies to your own business. By having the right people in place, the best processes implemented, and a stellar technology stack, you can begin to align your digital properties, no matter how many platforms your business uses.
If you have questions on how to build the foundation for your cross-platform measurement strategy, or just want to talk about great ways to put out fires, contact us today. And just like Smokey says, “Thanks for listening.”